Air-borne dispersal of Sandflies on the north coast of Trinidad

John B. Davies


Previous accounts (Aitken 1957, Yaseen, 1971) have indicated that the main biting pests at Maracas Bay are Culicoides phlebotomus (Williston) and to a lesser extent Culicoides furens (Poey.), whilst at Las Cuevas the pests are C. phlebotomus, C. debilipalpis Lutz and C. paraensis (Goeldi). Surveys to discover the extent of the breeding grounds of the pest species (Davies, 1973) showed that although massive breeding of C. phlebotomus took place adjacent to the beach at Las Cuevas only small areas could be found at Damien, and Maracas and there was some doubt whether sandflies were emerging from these latter areas in sufficient numbers to account for the biting rates experienced at Maracas Bay. Since Las Cuevas Bay lies directly upwind from Maracas it seemed possible that C. phlebotomus might be blown over the intervening ridge into Maracas Bay three miles downwind. To test this three wind traps to catch wind-borne insects were sited on the saddle by the exposed road cutting at Beverly Hills (now called Damien Heights). Insects entering the trap were caught in a plastic container filled with 2% formalin and detergent. The traps were visited once a week when the containers were changed, and the catches sorted and identified,

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